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From: Paul Goldstein
Date: 10 Oct 2011
Time: 17:34:34 -0500
Remote Name: 18.104.22.168
Hi, Derek. Thanks so much for introducing me to this concept - I hadn't run across it previously. Deep Ecological Fluency Freedom is a lovely and profoundly reflective way of thinking. I congratulate you for developing this unique and insightful topic of research! I can certainly see your excellent observation that most of the major stuttering modification programs around were developed by clinicians and/or researchers who stutter, whereas most of the major fluency shaping programs were developed by fluent clinicians and/or researchers. This immediately raises a question about the differences between expectations and values set forth for people who stutter, between the clinical community who stutter and the clinical community who are normally fluent. But in a larger sense, I think that we cannot make a general judgement about whether stuttering modification or fluency shaping is the "better" or more useful approach to therapy for people who stutter. People who stutter are all individuals; our stuttering reacts in very different ways to different therapeutic approaches; and an approach that greatly helps one person may be of no benefit to someone else. Both stuttering modification and fluency shaping approaches have their great merits, and both have helped many thousands of people who stutter find their true and unique voices, and become happy with their lives. There are also many clinical programs that offer both these approaches in varied combinations. I myself was greatly helped by fluency shaping, and did not experience much success with stuttering modification. (Over the years I have had therapy from both approaches.) I found fluency shaping to be a much more natural and useful form of therapy FOR ME. But, as I've pointed out, we are all individuals, and I recognize that for many others who stutter, the exact reverse of my therapeutic experiences has been true. Although I have personally favored fluency shaping for myself (when I was actively engaged in therapy), I believe also that it is perfectly okay to stutter. These concepts, in my view, are not as contradictory as some believe. For example, one can strive for fluent speech, but calmly accept stuttering when one realizes that the stresses in a particular situation were just too difficult to handle at that particular time. There are some clinics which primarily offer fluency shaping, but also offer excellent counselling to work on these attitudes, and help people to very calmly - and without panic or frustration - accept less-than-"successful" results in difficult situations. (This was admittedly not an area in which I developed skills, and was probably a factor in my eventual decision to discontinue practicing and monitoring fluency targets.) Even though I no longer practice fluency shaping, I'm still influenced - I guess - by my quarter-century of involvement with various fluency shaping methods, which included many (though limited) periods of great success. I still very much respect the principles of fluency shaping, though I have decided - at this time in my life - that its benefits are no longer worth the time, efforts, and frustrations involved with its implementation.